Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Indonesia set to upgrade military base in Natuna islands

Indonesian President Joko Widodo walks on the deck of the Indonesian Navy ship KRI Imam Bonjol off the Natuna Islands on June 23.
Following a series of incidents in the Natuna waters involving Chinese fishing boats and coast guard vessels, Indonesia plans to upgrade its military base in the Natuna Islands on the edge of the South China Sea, a Cabinet minister said Tuesday.

Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu said an extra budget of 6.59 trillion rupiah (about $486 million) has been approved for the Ministry of Defense to upgrade the military base.

The additional budget has increased the total budget for the ministry to 106.09 trillion rupiah this year.
Two weeks ago, an Indonesian warship fired warning shots at escaping Chinese fishing illegally in Indonesia’s exclusive economic zone.
In March, an Indonesian patrol boat intercepted a Chinese fishing vessel inside the EEZ and detained eight crew members, but a Chinese coast guard vessel physically intervened and forced its release.
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